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Duke Media Announced as Winners of IDEAFEST Student Business Idea Competition 2020

In a tightly contested Final, video production company Duke Media was chosen as the winner of Henley Business School's IDEAFEST Student Business Idea Competition 2020.

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The event, held online by Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship to an audience of over 30 attendees on 29 April 2020, featured five business ideas. Each idea was presented by teams of students to a panel of entrepreneurs, past IDEAFEST winners and investors and they were unanimous in selecting Duke Media, led by BA Entrepreneurship and Management student Lucas Cimino, as the victor.

The judges were impressed by Lucas' commitment to the idea and how he had already managed to make sales in such a competitive sector. Lucas' award for winning was £1,000 in prize money, to help launch his business to new heights, and mentoring.

Upon receiving the award Lucas said: "I'm honoured – IDEAFEST is a great competition. The process to practice pitching gives students skills they can use forever."

Lucas also produced a promotional video featuring for next year's IDEAFEST competition, featuring a 3D room inviting students to prepare and plan their entry for next year. Watch the video here.

In addition to the Best Business Idea category won by Duke Media, judges also presented awards for the Best Innovative Business Idea and Best Business Idea for China. The Best Innovative Idea category, chosen by judging panel member co-founder and CEO of Renal Services Ltd Stefano Ciampolini, went to INAP, an accommodation information platform for international students and accommodation owners. INAP was entered by a team led by MSc Entrepreneurship student Chatchawal Mothayakul and receive £1,000 for their win.

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INAP were also announced as the winners of the Best Business Idea for China category. This award, sponsored by former COO of Alibaba Savio Kwan, was judged by Prof Andrew Godley, the Academic Director of Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship, and Andrew Gaule, the founder and CEO of Aimava. In winning the award, INAP receive a £3,000 bursary to help them make the first steps towards launching their business in China.

There was further success for the team behind INAP, as they were also announced as the recipients of the second place prize of £500 for the Best Business Idea category.

When presented with his awards, Chatchawal commented: "Joining in the competition enables to solve a business problem in our daily life. You just need to figure out the effective way to solve those problems. We've done a lot of research and discussion with accommodation providers in Reading. This prize will help us make the next step and scale up."

An award of £250 for the Best Business Idea category third place was presented to TLK Music, a virtual music manager that provides mental wellbeing advice, an artist development program and automated marketing services via an AI messenger chatbot, entered by MSc Management student Kriss Thakrar.

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Following the presentation of his award, Kriss said: "I appreciate the opportunity and I’m looking forward to getting started and making the most of the mentoring."

The other finalists were BA Management and Business student Ruben Toledano's Bandmates, an online platform where musicians and bands can connect with one another to facilitate collaboration, and Smiling Buddha, a manufacturer of environmentally sustainable bamboo toothbrushes entered by a team led by BA Accounting and Management student Aleks Shipman.

In addition to the cash prizes, the top three will all receive mentoring from Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship, BDB Pitmans and Renal Services Ltd and all finalists were granted a place on the Henley Summer Start-Up Boot Camp 2020.

Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship would like to extend a special thanks to the judges:

Stefano Ciampolini, CEO and co-founder of Renal Services Ltd

Andrew Gaule, CEO of Aimava

Andrew Godley, Head of Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour

Tim Brownstone, CEO of KYMIRA

John Cavill, Visiting Fellow at Henley Business School

Philip Huthwaite, CEO of Blackcurve

Norbert Morawetz, Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship and co-founder of Potential.ly

Amer Nahouli, IDEAFEST Winner 2019

Ross Murphy, IDEAFEST Winner 2017

Jurek Sikorski, Executive Director of Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship

For further information about the IDEAFEST Competition, please contact:

Jurek Sikorski

Executive Director

Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship

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Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship is part of Henley Business School at the University of Reading. It provides a hub for teaching and research in the subject, inspiring students from across the University to embrace, develop and apply their entrepreneurial abilities.

E: jurek.sikorski@henley.ac.uk

T: 0118 378 8188

IDEAFEST is sponsored by:

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Founded in 2007, Renal Services operates twelve dialysis units across the UK, aiming to improve patients' quality of life and allow them easier access to local haemodialysis and more personal freedom.

Savio Kwan, former President and COO of Alibaba

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Published 15th May 2020